Laser Cutting Vs. Plasma Cutting – What Signage Works for You as a Consumer?

Well, signage is one sure thing that we are bound to see as soon as we step out of our houses. And, we cannot deny the fact that we do see it everywhere, whether it is billboards or office signs, or even the street signs. However, we may not think much about it till we become the first hand consumers of signage. So, when that juncture comes, along come some doubts and questions, one of which is whether you should go for signage that’s made with plasma cutting or laser cutting. Yes, different companies follow different processes.  

For ShieldCo, we always use lasers for the highest end final products of our custom metal signage.

The fact is that none but the experts can guide you on this. But, what is still necessary is a basic understanding of the difference between the two, and the pros and cons thereof. So, here it is, some basic information about both the methods.

Laser Cutting

When it comes to variety in material, laser cutting has a broad range to cover – glass, metal, non-metal, and even ceramics. As the namesuggests, it is done with the help of laser (carbon dioxide in either in gaseous or solid state.) And that is because of its high level of brightness and strength while cutting. The result – high precision, high speed and no subsequent reprocessing, more often than not.

When we talk of sheet cutting, especially for outdoor signage for billboards or ads, this method proves to be advantageous in more ways than one.

·         The cutting surface, because of the small laser cutting slot, can be used for welding directly, without polishing.

·         The speed is incredible, and way faster than plasma machine.

·         If the machine is high-end, the deformation will be very little, and it produces almost negligible surface roughness. This is why it’s a good choice for custom business signage.

·         The precision level is very high.

·         Apart from metal, it also shows good results on plastic, wood, rubber, organic glass, leather, PVC, ceramic, textile, and much more.

The only thing that one may be worried about is the high cost. But given the precision, it is a price you will be willing to pay for your business.

Plasma Cutting

This method uses a pressurized stream of gas which is blown at a high speed. It is a lot cheaper than laser and is very much preferred for thick sheet cutting as it has the ability to attain very high speeds of cutting thick plates.

But here is why not many may prefer it, especially for metal signage.

·         The surface that has been cut with a plasma machine is due to exhibit a striated structure.

·         Partial burring can occur, but that happens in the case of laser cutting as well.

·         There is a considerable amount of gas emission.

·         You can expect some tempering, deformation as well and changes in the structure of the material.

·         Also, the gas pressure can be problematic with thin sheets because of the inability to maintain a distance. So, one may not get as good results in aluminum signage or other thin materials as one may have expected.


So, at large, the choice depends on what type of material you are willing to use for your kind of signage. So, if you have been wondering what kind of process works better for you, you can take a cue here. 

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